square-phillip-lim-striped-dress-1

A Slightly Madcap Dress

 
We’ve discussed the virtues of dresses before. The ease of wearing a dress (efficiency, comfort) has caused me to allocate a substantial percentage of my wardrobe budget to dresses.
 
I write that as though I actually have a clothing budget that is diligently planned and then executed. Non, non. It is more accurate to say that, looking backward, I can see that a substantial percentage of my clothing expenditures is spent on dresses.

 
 
I do like to vary the look of my dresses.
 
It’s easy to do this by changing my jewelry (substituting a brooch for a necklace) or shoes (substituting shoes for boots), but I like the challenge of layering a dress — wearing a blouse or jersey under it or a belt or sweater over it.
New Dress

My madcap dress; isn’t madcap exactly the right word?

With blouse underneath

Surely you can understand that I wanted to wear it now

 
 
For instance, I bought this sleeveless dress a month ago (sleeveless, but sold as an AW 2015 dress), and wanted to wear it immediately. The sculptural ruffle running over my right shoulder prevents me from wearing a jacket or sweater over the dress, so I wore a blouse under it.
 
For the record, the blouse is as thin as tissue paper — but sleeves are sleeves, and thus the blouse winterizes the dress.
 
NB: The Directrice is not a professional model, braving winter temperatures in a thin dress and blouse just to obtain the benefit of natural light in these pictures. It’s an unseasonably warm day here — 65 degrees — and I am very comfortable here in the sun.

Can you believe she wore a blouse underneath her dress

Can you believe she wore a blouse underneath her dress?

Nothing she does surprises me anymore

Nothing she does surprises me anymore

 
This dress has a number of wonderful details, presented in the following photo-essay: “The Directrice: A Woman of Parts.”
A woman of parts

Sculptural ruffle

Closer

Swaths of stripes

Bracelets

Not part of the dress, but I thought you might want to see my bracelets — a mix of silver and gold links and bangles

 
 
The dress is made of three different silks. The predominant fabric is a plain, opaque, black silk. The striped fabric inset is a semi-sheer silk georgette. And then down at the hem, there is another inset of a sheer, solid black silk georgette.
 
To prevent anything (i.e., layers, underwear, body) from showing through the semi-sheer and sheer insets, I am wearing a full slip, which is also black. The slip is also filling in the armscyes, which are a little deeper than I like.
 
This dress would look good with a short or long-sleeved filmy black blouse under it, too.
Hem, boots

Asymmetry in the hem is flirty without being obvious

Boots up close

Bring forth the boots

 
Because it is winter, I am wearing a pair of boots which provide warmth and seasonal consonance.

I bought these riding boots from YOOX last year. They are made by a manufacturer I’d never heard of — Donna Piu (which could be, for all I know, the biggest name in boots in Italy) — but I ordered them in the spirit of exploration. My courage has been rewarded because I am now in love with them.
 
Dress: 3.1 Phillip Lim still available through FarFetch (and it will probably appear on YOOX and The Outnet later this year); Blouse: Alice & Olivia; Boots: Donna Piu; Bag: Kate Spade; Bracelets: David Yurman; Sunglasses: Illesteva Milan IV Amber

7 thoughts on “A Slightly Madcap Dress

  1. A fine example of putting your own touches on a look and winning. The dress is elegant, a statement piece personalized to fit in with other choices. It is a winner that could go to work , with boots or heels, and out for the evening. There is a very 1940’s look to it and the sunnies also have it. It was a clothing era I would have enjoyed minus the big war. Real elegance. Kate

  2. Ah, the full slip is genius! Another case in which I would have spotted a too-young, NSFW detail (wacky, short hemline cutout) and scrolled right past.

  3. After enjoying your blog for a number of months, I had to share just how chic and stylish you are!!! Thank you for sharing and I will continue to enjoy your approach to style and incredible personal flair!

    • Thank you, Jodie! I am so glad to hear that you’ve been enjoying the blog and I hope you will continue to do so.

But what do you think?